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Sweet revenge for Manny

Updated: 2014-04-14 07:14
By Associated Press in Las Vegas ( China Daily)

Pacquiao pummels Bradley in lopsided WBO title rematch

Manny Pacquiao won a lopsided unanimous decision in his rematch with Timothy Bradley on Saturday night, avenging his 2012 loss and taking the World Boxing Organization welterweight title.

Pacquiao (56-5-2) pursued and peppered the previously unbeaten Bradley around the MGM Grand Garden ring with an aggressive performance reminiscent of his prime.

Bradley fought back with counterpunching and elusiveness, but Pacquiao kept up his attack while Bradley (31-1) struggled over the last half of the fight.

The 35-year-old Pacquiao left little doubt about the result of the rematch in the same arena where they met nearly two years ago, when Bradley's split decision victory astonished most ringside observers, who felt Pacquiao had earned a clear decision.

"I knew I had to do more in this fight than I did in our first one," Pacquiao said.

Judges Craig Metcalfe and Michael Pernick scored the rematch 116-112 for Pacquiao, while Glenn Trowbridge favored the Filipino congressman 118-110.

After the fight, the 30-year-old Bradley said he injured his right calf early on. But he also applauded the decision when it was announced, and congratulated Pacquiao in the ring.

"I tried, I really tried," Bradley said. "I wanted that knockout. Manny is a great fighter, one of the best in the world.

"I lost to one of the greatest fighters in boxing. I kept trying to throw something over the top; that is what we worked on in camp. That was the plan, but Pacquiao has great footwork."

Pacquiao landed 35 percent of his 563 punches, while Bradley connected with just 22 percent of his 627 blows.

Pacquiao's jab was much more effective, landing 23 percent to Bradley's measly 11 percent, and the Pacman had a slight edge in landing 148 power punches to Bradley's 109.

Pacquiao's performance righted one of the biggest perceived wrongs in recent boxing history. He was an eight-division world champion on a 15-fight winning streak when Bradley was awarded the split decision in their first bout in June of 2012.

Pacquiao was more aggressive and accurate from the opening minutes of the rematch, sticking to trainer Freddie Roach's pleas to take the action to Bradley.

They exchanged big shots in the opening rounds, but Pacquiao appeared to wear out Bradley with the heavy early pace.

"I didn't want to get careless," Pacquiao said.

"I picked up more steam in the second half when I made adjustments that Freddie gave me in the corner. Bradley was much better than in the first fight we had. He hurt me on the chin."

Pacquiao landed a series of big lefts in the early rounds, twice staggering Bradley. The American responded impressively in the fourth round, wobbling Pacquiao twice.

The pace slowed in the fifth, with Bradley showing off his defense and movement while Pacquiao attempted to trap him against the ropes.

Pacquiao appeared to wobble Bradley late in the seventh round with a vicious combination, but Bradley stood with his back against the ropes and defiantly encouraged it, blocking most of the shots.

Bradley came on strong in the 12th, and the fighters' heads collided late in the round. Pacquiao avoided any trouble until the final bell, when he did a short dance step to his corner.

Pacquiao was knocked out by Juan Manuel Marquez in the sixth round of their fourth fight in late 2012, and he took nearly a year off before returning for a workmanlike win over Brandon Rios last fall in Macao.

Pacquiao's past two performances prompted Bradley to declare before their rematch that the Filipinio had lost his killer instinct, noting he was unable to stop any of his opponents since late 2009.

 Sweet revenge for Manny

Manny Pacquiao drives Timothy Bradley into the ropes with a left to the head during the third round of their WBO welterweight title bout in Las Vegas on Saturday night. Pacquiao took the crown by unanimous decision. Isaac Brekken / Associated Press

(China Daily 04/14/2014 page24)